Monday, 19 August 2013

Swimming with Sharks - on-line dating

Each time I blog I say the same thing, sorry for not blogging for a while!  It must get boring …. This time it’s because I have been steering through different kinds of waters - ones that are full of sharks!  It is called the world of on-line dating, although it seems more at the moment the world of on-line texting instead!  I have no spare cash to spend on good on-line dating sites (and who say they work anyway) so I  joined, don’t laugh, Plenty of Fish and a site called Flirtbox.  And gosh it is so easy to get carried away and so addictive to message and get messages back.  I feel sometimes that it is a dangerous game to play this on-line dating as it takes my focus away from the day to day things going on, and because I am of a poetic turn of mind can be seduced, and seduce, by words.  It is a little frightening, if not empowering, and it has prompted me to write a series of work-in-progress poems called “The seduction of the mind”. 

“The next time you try to seduce anyone, don't do it with talk, with words. Women know more about words than men ever will. And they know how little they can ever possibly mean.”  ― William Faulkner

It has taken me over three long years to actually think that I could embark on a relationship again; perhaps it is because it’s been a long hot summer; perhaps because I have a last managed to put the past behind me, or is that I am just feeling a lot more happier, more confident and healthier now over a year and half out of cancer treatment (still taking the tablets though).  Mainly though I am fed up going it alone and want a relationship, a friendship and perhaps eventually a partner.  I am even now considering having a reconstruction, which a few months ago I would have been adamant I wouldn't do.

“Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

I met a very kind lady in my local pub who had gone through something like me (but strangely without the chemo), and she gave me a gift her mastectomy bras!  Lots of different shades, shapes and styles – and they fitted!  She has good taste as well – so having a good set of lingerie again has immensely cheered me up – mastectomy bras can be so expensive so having ten of them is a godsend!  She even gave me some of her swimwear as well (not been worn) – so when off on hols soon I can swim again with more confidence as well ….. More importantly she talked through the reconstruction operation with me and I can’t lie thinking of having a twelve hour operation and three months of work is a little daunting although on the upside I will probably have a tummy tuck too!  In the Area I live it can take up to two years to have the op so will also be a nice 50th birthday present.  I am seeing my Consultant next in October, so this will be a major topic of conversation.  It could be at considering the reconstruction has been part of my desire for a relationship, but have been told that having one boob is not an issue, but the issue may be my own confidence in my own self-image and it remains to be seen.

“The reflection that we see every day has nothing to do with how others see us.” ― Rasmenia Massoud

Anyway since being on these two sites I have been approached by two married men who have wanted to meet me (the ones I have known about) which is not what I am after all and frankly is not worth the bother or the hurt it can cause; a cross-dresser; a man with a foot fetish who wanted to know what colour I painted my toe nails (!) and several young men as well – which is very disconcerting!  There have been others who I just generally chit chat about daily things who are just too far away for a relationship and then there is this other man – ah yes this other man.

“Was that semi-colon some kind of flirty wink or just bad punctuation?” ― Azadeh Aalai

We all have our criteria for people we want to meet and although looks are fairly important, although would want someone a bit taller than me, and no facial hair, really I look for someone full of personality and character, intelligence and of course the ability to make me laugh and I them (someone one on their own spiritual journey) – a lethal cocktail.  However, you can’t tell anything until you meet someone whether there is that final ingredient – chemistry. Without meeting and just texting or emailing it’s easy to weave a fantasy around a person that might not be healthy and even then you also have no idea about honesty, integrity and trust and have to trust gut instinct – shark infested waters indeed!   I have been offered a couple of dates, but I like this guy I am chatting to but I know he is keeping me at arm’s length and sense his unwillingness to actually meet me at all – perhaps he has weaved a fantasy around me to too?  What I do know is when I am chatting with him on my laptop – my son says “shut up mum, stop looking so happy”! This is the boy who encouraged me to do this in the first place! The scary thing is that this person already has the power to lift me with a smile and bring me low – and that is not a good thing as in truthfulness there is no relationship just a connection made.   If I am never going to meet this person I have to ask is it holding me back from actually meeting someone I could have a relationship with?

“You know when you send a text message to someone and you don't get a response right away, you feel depressed? You send a text message to someone you really like and you get a response right away you feel happy? You feel happy, the body, it creates the chemical dopamine, the dopamine, it goes through your blood and you become addicted to that dopamine rush, and you associate that dopamine rush with the happy feeling of receiving the text, and that's why you got people sending 3,000 text messages a day, right, we're not even paying attention to what we're saying anymore it's just like a, like a morphine drip, right, it's like a dopamine drip! HAPPY BUTTONS! HAPPY BUTTONS! HAPPY BUTTONS! TIME TO PLAY WITH THE HAPPY BUTTONS!”  -  Tom Green

Like my autumn poem I am not desperate and will hold out for the right relationship – I owe this to myself, my son, and frankly deserve it! Talking about things is one thing, action is another and it’s this fantasy I am wary of as reality always intrudes (rightly so) – in the end I am basically lonely and ultimately want to share the ups and downs, challenges and opportunities, laughter and tears with a partner.  Right now that is out of reach for me and I know I will meet many “frogs” on the way – but could make some interesting new friendships too.  It’s a risk either way – but I need to be a little more detached, less open than the person that I am but willing to compromise on the qualities I want such as care, passion and empathy – none of us are perfect and I don’t rate myself too much in the beauty stakes either – although I do know that I am not as unattractive as my profile picture!   Must get a new one – and all you guys out there please smile in yours! 
“Because that's what Life is: Fire. It's the fiery fun of love, adventure, inspiration, and passion. It is the fiery pit of pain, anger and disappointment. The right partner is someone who is brave to risk all just to taste the experience of loving you.”

The one thing is however I don’t think I have wasted my time – I have gradually learned what I do not want, learnt to flirt a bit and have giggled a lot – now just need to go out and meet someone - now who are they who have offered me a date? – perhaps I should accept and not put my eggs in one basket or as my dad would say "play the field"!  I almost feel like a teenager once again I am that nervous, but with a little bit of confidence, a bit of belief, and trusting that the right people will appear - I do think I am ready to swim with some sharks!

“There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.”  Ernest Hemingway